Editor's note: We had planned to publish the results of last week's SUNDIAL survey Oct. 23, but we decided to run them this week before the new health section begins.
Should animals continue to be used in medical research? Most of you who participated in our SUNDIAL survey last week said no. (165 said yes and 361 said no.)
More than 200 of you stayed on the line to express an opinion, and we've published a representative sample of your comments below. Please remember that SUNDIAL is not a scientific poll, but an informal reader survey.
Thanks for participating.
We ought to come up with an alternative plan such as -- you could use prisoners; heck, use the doctors themselves that do it. I wouldn't want my family pet to be used.
Let them experiment on people. There are a lot of terminally ill people who will more than willingly subject themselves to this research.
Why don't they just use condemned prisoners? Animals are too important to people who love them and depend on them.
I think they should do lab experiments on convicted criminals. It would solve two problems: jail overpopulation and the cruelty to animals problem.
To extrapolate from one species to another is a disaster. It's unscientific. What we need to do is move into the 20th century here and start to use non-invasive scanning methodology here such as ultrasound and clinical types of activities.
For me the issue is not really an emotional one, it is a common sense one. I don't think animal research guarantees safety of medicines. There are many documented cases where people have been made even sicker or have suffered all kinds of side effects because of medicines that really were tested on animals and were believed to be safe.
Animals should not be used for the advancement of humans. It's like saying animals are below humans, and I think all living things created on God's earth are equal and are special.
Murphy Edward Smith
I don't like to see these bunnies all blown up and things, and they can't help themselves with medication. And they don't have to use them on cosmetics. Mice and rats OK, but not bunnies.
It's totally repulsing to sit there with my cats and watch on TV how they're cutting the brains of cats open. It makes me sick.
I place it in the same category with child abuse. I see absolutely no difference; they're both totally defenseless.
I'm not saying that human life's not more valuable than an animal's life. But a human has a brain and can conceive of what's going on and an animal can't. To me, that makes a big difference.
just wanted to bring up a quote. I don't remember who said it but they said: The question is not can they talk or can they reason, but can they suffer.
****Yes, but . . .'
I think that if they could find a way to clone a part of the animal that they need for research and discontinue the use of animals, that way they could be sure of a control kind of situation.
As a breeder and exhibitor of champion show dogs . . . I have some interest in animals. I do believe that there's an awful lot of misuse and when products are tested if there is already a caustic chemical in the thing, then it doesn't need to be tested. . . . There are some very very good uses for medical testing so we have to get rid of the bad guys.
Animals in research are necessary, but I think that a lot of animal testing is gratuitous and animals which are used in testing are unnecessarily harmed and kept in painful situations, and that can be alleviated without disturbing the research results. --Karen Trimble
****'It saves lives'
The only alternative would be to use humans -- to use drugs and things in humans, and that would be experimentation on humans. . . . Anyone who equates my life with equal value to the life of a rat, I would not follow them at all.
My father is 56 years old, he has multiple sclerosis, he's in a nursing home; he's been in one for the past two years. If somebody told me the family dog could be used and give my father a chance at perfect health again I would say "take the dog"; my father is a human being; he's more important.
If we were not able to do this we would never have been able to transplant tissues, we would never have been able to transplant heart valves, surgeons wouldn't know how to properly replace bones and so forth.
I would personally rather have a neurosurgeon or a cardiovascular surgeon in training perform his first procedure on a dog rather than myself or a member of my family.
Derek van Amerongen
Anyone who's ever had any type of medical procedures done to them has to realize that the procedures were first done on animals. I wonder how many of those people who are animal rights activists would refuse medical treatment for themselves if they realized that the procedures were first done with animals.
When we consider the range of medical procedures from routine vaccination or antibiotics, to the most complex surgical techniques, it can be said that many of those who oppose using animals in medical research in fact owe their own lives and the lives of their children to this practice. I suspect if these genuinely concerned people were faced with the choice between the sacrifice of a few dogs and cats or research that could save their own child, they most certainly would choose their child.
Since this is a capitalistic society, it does not make sense that a funded laboratory would be operating just for the sake of causing harm to animals. It must have some kind of outcome that would add a benefit to those that own the lab.
I think that the animal activist folks have another agenda aside from just doing away with animal research. They want to do away with hunting and eating animals and anything to do with animals, and they're all crazy.